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TRANCOSO

Land of warriors and poets

Surrounded by an old Afonsine wall with a mighty castle on top, the city of Trancoso is situated in a vast plateau, rising at an altitude of 884m. A deeply medieval atmosphere can be felt here with its ancient narrow streets and some typical Jewish homes. Due to its location by the Spanish border, Trancoso was stage of battles and important events, such as S. Marcos Battle won by the Portuguese over the Spanish. Even in present time on May 29th bread and orange are distributed to the children, evoking this historical episode, for locals say that “Portuguese gave the Spanish only bread and oranges”. But Trancoso was also known for having been the land of the Portuguese Knight, the “Magriço”, who led the Twelve of England, an episode of historical chivalry depicted in epic poem “The Lusiads” written by Camões. In the 16th century, around 1500, Bandarra poet was born here. He would be forever known for his prophetic verses that were later in the origin of the Sebastianism myth. Due to these poems he was persecuted by the Inquisition. Távora river is born in the area of the council, rich in historical and cultural heritage. Vouga and Paiva rivers start not very far from here. The basis of its economy is agriculture with the production of rye, potatoes and chestnut on the highest coldest spots, and olive, wine, beans and fruit in the bright valleys of the plateau. Apart from pastures, shepherd activity covers part of the lands for cheese production.Nowadays, the old medieval town, alongside with a well-preserved historical centre, has all the comfort of a modern city. Good hotel infrastructures, a cultural centre, an auditorium, swimming pools and a beautiful tree park are some of its main attractions. We should not forget the gastronomic richness of the region, especially in terms of sweets: “bola de ovos”, “cavacas” cracknel, chestnut cake and sweet sardines being the most famous specialities.

14 PLACES

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